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Can I Be Arrested for Drugs That Aren’t Mine

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2022 | Firm News

In the states of Missouri and Illinois, drug possession is a serious offense that attracts severe punishment and other devastating, life-long consequences. Regardless of whether the illicit drugs found were yours or not, you may be arrested or indicted with constructive possession for having controlled substances in your care, control, or vicinity but not on your person. A skilled Missouri criminal defense attorney can enlighten you about your rights when arrested for drugs that aren’t yours and help strategize your best defenses.

With more than 17 years of extensive experience, I have the resources, knowledge, and diligence to defend and represent clients facing drug crime allegations, including constructive possession. As your legal counsel, I can investigate all of the facts of your case and outline an effective defense to maximize your chances of the best available outcome for your unique situation. My firm proudly serves clients across St Louis, St. Charles, Madison County (Illinois), St. Clair County (Illinois), and St. Louis County, Missouri.

What is Constructive Possession?

Constructive drug possession is a non-physical drug possession that occurs when a defendant has illicit drugs or controlled substances under their care and control or within their vicinity, but not physically on them. Whether or not the controlled substance is in your exclusive possession, you may still be arrested and charged with drug possession.

For instance, a police officer stopped an Uber driver lawfully and requested to search the vehicle. The Uber driver consented, and during the search, methadone was found in the car. The officer arrested the Uber driver, but actually, the substance was for a rider he dropped off earlier. Under Missouri and Illinois law, you may be facing criminal charges for having constructive possession of the drug or controlled substance.

Elements Required To Establish Constructive Possession

To establish constructive possession charges in the state of Missouri or Illinois, the prosecuting attorney must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant knew or was aware that the drugs or controlled substances were present.
  • The defendant had access to and control of the area where the controlled substances were found.
  • The defendant knew or should have known that the controlled substances were illegal.

In order to be found guilty, the prosecutor must establish that a “totality of the facts reasonably considered,” alongside other incriminating circumstances, would prove without reasonable doubt that the defendant had actual knowledge and control of the illicit drugs.

Incriminating Circumstances

Below are some incriminating facts and circumstances that may potentially link an alleged defendant with a controlled substance:

  • The controlled substance was found in plain view.
  • The controlled substance was found among the defendant’s personal belongings.
  • The defendant owned the property or vehicle where the illicit drugs were found.
  • The defendant was nervous or agitated during the search.
  • The defendant exhibited suspicious conduct, behavior, or actions during the arrest.
  • The defendant ran from law enforcement.
  • The arresting officer found the drugs within the offender’s immediate proximity while searching their vehicle.
  • The arresting officer discovered the illicit drugs in the offender’s private room while searching their property.
  • The defendant made false statements while attempting to deceive the law enforcement officer.

Essentially, the police can build a case against an alleged defendant using any of the aforementioned incriminating facts. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean the offender is guilty of the constructive drug charges against them. A knowledgeable Missouri drug crimes defense lawyer can examine all of the surrounding facts of your case, outline an effective defense to help fight your charges, and help keep your record clean.

Skilled & Compassionate Advocacy

Facing constructive drug possession accusations can be terrifying, and a criminal conviction could mean devastating, immediate, and long-term consequences to your freedom, reputation, life, and future. However, simply telling the arresting officer, “those drugs aren’t mine,” may not be sufficient to get you off the hook. Therefore, when charged with constructive drug possession, hiring an aggressive criminal defense attorney is paramount for skilled legal advocacy and to build your defense strategy.

At The Summary Law Firm, I’ve devoted my career to handling criminal cases and defending the best interests of individuals wrongfully accused of drug law violation or drug possession. Using my in-depth legal knowledge, I will help you navigate the Missouri or Illinois criminal justice system and represent you vigorously in every phase of the legal process. Also, I will fight vigorously to uphold your legal rights, find and exploit inconsistencies in the prosecutor’s case, and improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow.

Never face your constructive drug possession charges alone. Contact my firm – The Summary Law Firm – today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a knowledgeable drug crimes defense attorney. I can offer you the highly-personalized legal representation and compassionate advocacy you need in your drug possession case. My firm proudly serves clients in St. Louis, and the neighboring areas of St. Charles, Madison County (Illinois), St. Clair County (Illinois), and St. Louis County, Missouri.